Politics

The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia: The screaming schoolgirls of Kelantan


ST Regional Correspondent Jia Ning Tan speaks to Ustaz Abd Rashid Ahmad, faith healer and spokesman of an Islamic medical facility called Darussyifa, and Mr Robert Bartholomew, a medical sociologist and co-author of Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566.

She also interviewed a woman who has had a brush with mass hysteria as a schoolgirl and wanted to be identified only as Nur.

Highlights (click/tap above): (Headphones recommended)

1:53 The Ketereh Secondary School in Kelantan gripped by a fast-spreading screaming plague in July 2018

3:31 Students say they saw a tall, dark figure in the school compound

4:57 Ustaz Abdul Rashid Ahmad says the tall, dark figure is an evil spirit that possesses the weak-minded

9:29 Scientists conduct an experiment to prove that people could be tricked into perceiving ghosts

11:52 Mr Bartholomew describes Kelantan’s screaming schoolgirl occurrences as a collective stress reaction

15:08 Girls and women are more likely to experience mass hysteria than men

19:17 Nur says the mass hysteria episode that happened to her left a permanent mark

Produced by: Tan Jia Ning (jianing@sph.com.sg), Magdalene Fung (magfung@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Penelope Lee and Teo Tong Kai

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

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